Vijay Hazare Trophy: Karthik, Shankar help TN get the better of UP

Tamil Nadu, riding on a fine collective performance, continued with its good run when it brushed aside the challenge from Uttar Pradesh to record a seven-wicket victory at the DRIEMS ground in Cuttack on Sunday.

Tamil Nadu rode on Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 56 to drub Uttar Pradesh in Cuttack on Sunday.   -  Picture: K. V. S. Giri

Tamil Nadu, riding on a fine collective performance, continued with its good run when it brushed aside the challenge from Uttar Pradesh to record a seven-wicket victory in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the DRIEMS ground here on Sunday.

After the bowlers had done their job well, the experienced Dinesh Karthik (56) constructed an unbeaten 101-run match-winning partnership along with skipper Vijay Shankar (58) to help Tamil Nadu stay undefeated in two matches thus far.

Prashant takes Delhi to the cleaners

Motivated by the win against Delhi in the opening fixture, Tamil Nadu did not lose its focus and made the most of an encouraging performance by the bowlers where medium-fast bowlers M. Mohammed and Aswin Crist made the initial dents and left-arm spinner Rahil Shah chipped in with two wickets too in the middle order to ease the contest for the batsmen.

Uttar Pradesh, electing to bat, took the field without Suresh Raina, who is expected to join the team for the remaining matches. His absence had an impact on the approach Uttar Pradesh adopted against the sustained spells from Mohammed and Crist, who concentrated on making the batsmen play.

Tamil Nadu bowled to a plan. Uttar Pradesh looked to force the pace in order to establish an early dominance but excellent fielding by Tamil Nadu denied them many scoring opportunities.

The early success gave Tamil Nadu the edge and it did not relent even as the Uttar Pradesh middle order depended on Sarfaraz Khan and Rinku Singh. The two added 66 runs before Shah broke the stand. Sarfaraz contributed 31 off 47 balls and Rinku 37 off 47 balls. Uttar Pradesh lacked the batting depth to retrieve the situation and a target of 160 was hardly going to pose any threat to Tamil Nadu.

The target was not intimidating but Tamil Nadu lost N. Jagadeesan (10), Kaushik Gandhi (15) and B. Aparajith (13) in succession to create a minor scare. At 59 for three, Tamil Nadu needed a partnership and it came through Karthik and captain Vijay Shankar. They avoided flamboyance and looked to consolidate the chase through some sensible batting.

Karthik batted 63 balls and hit eight fours and one six, while Shankar, who had also bowled a decent spell, faced 48 balls and struck eight fours and one six. Tamil Nadu signed off in style to stay on course for the knockout stage.

The scores: UP 159 in 36 overs (Rinku Singh 37, Sarfaraz Khan 31) lost to Tamil Nadu 160-3 in 27.5 overs (Vijay Shankar 58 not out, Dinesh Karthik 56 not out).